Registration now open for ATCA’s 40th anniversary conference!
The bluegrass will be extra-blue, the bourbon will be extra-strong and every play will be exciting (we hope) when ATCA gathers in Louisville, April 2-6, for its 40th Anniversary Annual Conference… . Early Bird registration is open through Feb. 14 at just $100 for ATCA members ($135 for guests), our lowest conference fee in years. Separately, members can book rooms at the conference hotel, The Galt House, at the special rate of $95/night (plus taxes and fees) for a single, double or even triple room.
This year’s conference returns to Louisville for the first time in 14 years. As then, our co-host is Actors Theatre of Louisville and its annual Humana Festival of New American Plays, acknowledged nationally and globally as a well-spring of American dramatic writing. ATCA members and guests will see the complete Humana Festival roster — seven productions, including Partners by Dorothy Fortenberry, The Christians by Lucas Hnath, The Grown-Upby Jordan Harrison, brownsville song (b-side for tray) by Kimber Lee and several works with multiple authors, among whom are Kia Cothron, Regina Taylor, Idris Goodwin, Will Power (you think that’s his real name, or is it a pen name for Jane Martin?) and composer Julia Wolfe. One multi-author work, Steel Hammer, is directed by Anne Bogart and was co-developed by her SITI Company.
We’ll have the opportunity to meet many of the Humana Festival authors Thursday afternoon (April 3), immediately following our keynote Perspectives in Criticism lecture for which we promise a stimulating speaker. Over the weekend, we’ll also have a talk with the leadership of Actors Theatre, artistic director Les Waters and managing director Jennifer Bielstein, both of whom have come on board since ATCA last came to town.
Now in its 50th anniversary season, Actors Theatre has built an admirable legacy supporting the long-term vitality of the American theatre. Throughout the Humana Festival’s 38 years, Actors Theatre has fully produced nearly 450 plays, providing a vital launching pad for playwrights and new work and an impressive track record of subsequent productions.
As has been a Humana Festival tradition for some years, ATCA itself will take center stage on Saturday night (April 5) as we make our annual presentations of the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Awards and ATCA’s Osborn Prize. Altogether, we’ll hand out $41,000 in cash to American authors. Hey, who says critics don’t love playwrights?
Our conference kicks off Wednesday evening, April 2, with a generous welcoming reception hosted by the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, followed by The Stranger and Ludlow Quinn by Diana Grisanti and Steve Moulds at Theatre 502, recommended by our Louisville members as one of the liveliest young companies in town. It will be the only show we see which isn’t part of the Humana Festival, so we urge everyone to arrive in time for the reception and show.
As always, there will be organizational business and reports, several new initiatives and proposals to discuss and executive committee nominations and elections (so start thinking of good candidates now). Importantly, we also will consider conference sites for 2015 and beyond, and we expect to have several exciting possibilities to discuss, maybe even a real competition. We’ll have general membership meetings at the Galt House on Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings (April 2-4), made tasty by breakfast buffets.
You can expect a few surprises and special features along the way, before the conference concludes with a final Humana Festival performance Sunday morning (not too early), with departures for the airport beginning about 1PM. All venues — Galt House, Theatre 502 and Actors Theatre — are within a few blocks of each other, making logistics and foot transportation a breeze. Shuttles to/from the airport will be provided courtesy of Actors Theatre, but you will need to provide them with specific arrival/departure info, which we will facilitate down the road a bit.
Watch your ATCA homepage for updates as more details are finalized and announced. But don’t wait: follow these links now to register for the conference and book your hotel.Remember, you need a separate reservation for your hotel room, which is not included in the conference registration process.
GALT HOUSE LINK This is the Galt House’s special ATCA page. You can also phone them at 800-626-1814 and request the ATCA group rate.